I find that a lot of people seeking a healthier oil alternative are reaching for Canola Oil. It is certainly marketed as healthy oil but as with most things, we must always ask questions. Here is what my small research yielded.
What is Canola Oil made from?
Actually, the answer is not that simple as there is a bit of a story here. Back in the 1970s, rapeseed oil was cheap to produce but it was not fit for human consumption because it was bitter (thanks to the Glucosinolates the seeds contain) among other things.
Using hybridization techniques, some brilliant Canadian scientists bred rapeseeds that were reduced the bitter qualities of these seeds, thus making it a more edible oil.
Why isn’t it called Rapeseed Oil?
Rapeseed oil was known as a bitter oil so it was just easier to rename it. There were two options.
- Rape Oil – Rape? You can see how this could be a potential marketing nightmare.
- LEAR Oil – Low Euric Acid Rapeseed. Didn’t quite sound right. As an aside, did you notice that it rhymes with leer? Like leering at someone?
So they settled on Canola Oil, which stands for Canadian Oil after the fact that it was created in Canada by Canadian Scientists.
How is it made?
It is made from a long process which is better watched than explained in this video here:
Compare that to how flaxseed oil is made here
For the sake of a balanced piece, it is necessary to mention that there are cold pressed, organic Canola oil in the market too. However, I am personally yet to see even one bottle in Nigeria. We generally consume the mass produced one made in the video above.
So does Canola Oil really have any redeeming qualities? Well, you decide.
My take is that the advantages of Canola Oil are outweighed by its disadvantages. Now that you know about Canola Oil, what is your take? Would you buy this oil?